Well today was a day. What started out innocently enough with bright sunshine and far less wind in Montana ended with me on three new prescription drugs after laying on a hospital bed at Shoshone Medical Center in Kellogg, Idaho.

Visiting the Emergency Room in Idaho - Tonn's Travel
View from the Hole 1 tee at Fairmont Hot Springs Playground in Anaconda, Montana.

We started our day by stopping at Fairmont Hot Springs Playground in Anaconda, Montana for a quick nine holes. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to be there, not being a registered guest of the property. But a nice employee with a thick Boston accent chatted me up and encouraged me to play, saying: “That’s what it’s here for…enjoy!” Measuring just over 200 feet per hole (1,841 feet over nine holes), my ProLine Squall did what it is supposed to do! Putting me close enough to each basket off the tee to not need to sweat the putt. My -9 (18) was good for an estimated round rating of 1040. Though I think that even shooting a 19 on that course would equal a round rating below ~940. You MUST DEUCE every hole, to feel as though you didn’t underperform (hehe).

Visiting the Emergency Room in Idaho - Tonn's Travel
View from the Hole 1 tee at Kellogg Park in Kellogg, Idaho.

After leaving Montana, I started feeling very uncomfortable sitting in the car. Experiencing an ever-increasing pain in my “nether region.” And within approximately 30-45 minutes from the time I first started experiencing discomfort, I all but needed to ask my daughter to pull the car over because I felt like I needed to vomit. I resisted the urge to ask her to pull over, because I didn’t want her to be scared. But as the morning progressed? I felt more and more pain. Felt like I was going to vomit. Started seeing lots of stars in my field of vision (as though I might pass out from the pain).

So in that incredible pain, what did I do? Why, I snuck in one more course played in Idaho. For anyone who might question my heart, my toughness (and ability to deal with pain), and my complete and utter stupidity?! 😛 Playing Kellogg Park in Kellogg, Idaho should confirm all three of those things. Holes 1-3 hurt. Holes 4-5 I wasn’t sure if I could continue. Hole 6 I threw-in an approach from ~110 feet for deuce, followed by a deuce on Hole 7. By Hole 8, I could barely walk. And on Hole 9, I had reached my limit.

Visiting the Emergency Room in Idaho - Tonn's Travel
View from the Hole 9 tee at Kellogg Park in Kellogg, Idaho.

After throwing my tee shot in agony on Hole 9, I got as far as the first tree in front and to the left of the tee and I could walk no more. I promptly lost my breakfast AND lunch near that tree…while continuing to see lots of white stars in my field of vision. I knew something was very, VERY wrong. So I walked up to my disc, and of course finished my approach and drop-in for par (sigh), then limped/felt my way to my daughter. Telling her that I was in agony and had vomited on Hole 9. She told me she was driving me to the nearest hospital, which ended up being Shoshone Medical Center in Kellogg.

I was in so much pain that I needed to be taken into the ER in a wheelchair. I barely was able to walk from the car into the facility, and I was done. Could barely stand or sit. I then spent the next couple hours on a hospital bed, vomiting and being given 2-3 different tests/scans. They were afraid that I was experiencing a condition called testicular torsion, which would have required immediate surgery to prevent irreparable tissue damage (due to the lack of blood flow to said “nether region”). But the primary culprit that knocked me out for the count, on top of my having some never-before-experienced problems with part of my male anatomy, was a 2-3mm kidney stone.

I was past due to experience a kidney stone, since my dad, mom, AND oldest daughter had all experienced them in the past! But of course, my body decided that being in the middle of a 1,500-mile trip to Oregon, with nearly all my worldly possessions shoehorned into the trunk and back seat of our car, was the ideal time for me to join that club. 🙁

The staff in the ER were great, but they said that about all they could do was give me two pain meds, an anti-nausea med, and then send me on my way to try and pass the stone naturally. Telling me to drink lots (and LOTS) of water! I have no idea how long it takes to pass a kidney stone. All I know is that pain, on top of simultaneous issues with my “nether region,” is some of the most violent pain I have ever experienced. I got those nine holes finished in Kellogg though, darnit! To the tune of a -2 (25) and an estimated round rating of 931.

See: Heart, Toughness and Stupidity. 🙂

Magic Number = 48 (1,952 Courses Played)

How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >>
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re out “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.

About Derek

Visiting the Emergency Room in Idaho - Tonn's Travel

Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA, the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed’s (the father of disc golf and the modern-day Frisbee) vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.

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